Given recent changes in politics and demographics, Latin America and the United States are becoming increasingly important to one another. Recognition of the two regions' differences and similarities may facilitate a more fruitful relationship, with increased respect and understanding.
It is with this in mind that editors John J. Hassett and Braulio Muñoz present a collection of writings that provides a look into the ways in which Spanish America has viewed its northern neighbor over the past two centuries. Gathered here are pieces by well-known figures from the worlds of Spanish American politics, history, philosophy, creative writing, and culture—names like Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Neruda.
Divided into three sections, Looking North begins by underscoring the cultural and political differences between the two Americas. It opens with a speech by Simón Bolívar to the Venezuelan Congress in 1819 and closes with an essay by Mario Vargas Llosa from 2006 on the controversial wall being constructed between the United States and Mexico. The second section explores the experiences of Spanish American travelers in the US, beginning with an account of former Argentine president Domingo Sarmiento's fascination with the United States during his travels in 1847 and ending with a 2008 essay by Vargas Llosa on the city of New York. The final section encompasses creative writing and commentaries by some of Spanish America's most gifted poets and novelists. It opens with Rubén Darío's "To Roosevelt" from 1905 and ends with Christine Granados's humorous and profound short story "Inner View," first published in 2006.
Touching on history, sociology, politics, and religion, the writings assembled here will be of interest to humanists, social scientists, and anyone intrigued by the ever-growing connection between the United Sates and Spanish America at all levels.